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OSHA proposes new PPE regulation

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2023 | Construction Workers' Accidents |

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is arguably a construction worker’s best friend. PPE is the first – and, sometimes, last – line of defense when it comes to working in construction efficiently, effectively and safely. As a result, when PPE is inadequate, improper for the task at hand and/or ill-fitting, preventable disaster can strike and result in devastating consequences.

Unfortunately, employers too often try to skirt safety regulations by offering PPE that is insufficient for a worker’s given duties. That’s why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is stepping in to better ensure the safety of those who work in the construction industry. The agency has recently proposed a rule that could help to better ensure that PPE actually serves its intended functions when used on construction jobs.

The ins and outs of the new rule

Essentially, the rule – which could be named the “This is common sense, but employers don’t always employ common sense, so now the agency has to formally mandate this” rule – requires employers to provide construction workers with PPE that fits properly.

Yes, this feels a little like the warning that comes on shower caps that reads “fits one head.” This isn’t the sort of thing that should need to be said, let alone a warning that should be mandated by law. However, because employers too often cut corners by providing their workers will ill-fitting PPE, it is now (almost certainly) going to be the formal law of the land that PPE needs to fit properly.

With that said, simply because something is the law, that doesn’t mean that all employers will honor it. As a result, it will remain important for workers to understand that they have the right to seek legal counsel in the event that they get hurt on the job for any reason, including their employer’s negligence.